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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: soldiers and veterans may be fighting a battle we don’t know about

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As Wyoming News Now continues to talk to local military suicide prevention experts, the second topic of the week is the battle soldiers and veterans might be fighting on the inside.

“Many of our service members, veterans and their families really struggle with difficult life experiences. Trauma can really shatter someone’s sense of safety and comfort,” said 153rd Wyoming Air National Guard Director of Psychological Health, Nikki Hernandez.

“One of my children was in the military, was deployed twice, really struggled adjusting upon their return. Post traumatic stress disorder is an overused term but it is very real,” said Cheyenne VA Medical Center Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Linda Benson.

“Our philosophy is heal not hide, and so we encourage anyone out there that there is hope," said Hernandez.

“Every person suffering out there has a mother, has a brother, has a spouse, and they’re all important. Everyone’s important so I try to validate that they are important, that there is help, that their life can have purpose," said Benson.

“That’s really our passion, to serve the military community, their families and to just be present here and to help in any way that we can," said Hernandez.

“We all need to be aware, and care enough to extend ourselves, and reach out in compassion,” said Benson.

The managers will also be hosting the “1st Suicide Symposium” on Sep. 10. For active duty military and veterans, if you need help, you can call the military veterans crisis line at 1-800- 273-8255.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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